Category: Edition 1 - May 2014
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 14, Edition 1 (May 2014) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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This first edition of 2014 comprises five papers plus the usual book review and, as in previous editions, the authorship is characterised by an international flavour with authors from Sweden, South Africa and the USA. The scholarly topics range from a philosophical engagement with the notion of the centrality of 'perception' rather than 'reflection' in the activity of skilful professional practice, through to the therapeutic use of imagery in supportive counselling contexts as well as the interesting notion that there is an appropriate and effective role in therapy for the therapist's experience to be made explicit within a client-centred context. There is also a paper arguing that creativity is not simply a matter of will and discipline but instead requires receptivity and openness and, moreover, that these elements should be the hallmarks of all good research, while the final paper is an exploration of the crucial intersection of culture and science in traditional medicine models. ...


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pdf.png Reflection and Perception in Professional Practice - By Peter Erlandson  

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For the last decade, reflection has been a major theme in discussions about professional skillfulness and the development of the competence of practitioners such as nurses and teachers. The intellectual pattern that has structured ambitions in relation to reflection is found mainly in Schön's (1983) The Reflective Practitioner and the epistemological turn suggested there. In this text, however, I focus on a dimension that is often forgotten when professional practitioners are conceived of as being reflective, namely, perception. From the framework of Merleau-Ponty, I argue that Schön's theoretical account is highly problematic and that perception is the key to shaping practitioners' skillfulness.


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pdf.png A Phenomenological Case Study of the Therapeutic Impact of Imagery: Rescripting of Memories of a Rape and Episodes of Childhood Abuse and Neglect - By Anita Padmanabhanunni and David Edwards  

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This is a systematic case study of the assessment and treatment of Anna (43), a woman presenting with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a drug-facilitated sexual assault that occurred over twenty years earlier. She was also diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder. Treatment with cognitive therapy for PTSD and social phobia was supplemented by imagery rescripting (IR) of memories of childhood trauma within a schema therapy approach. The study documents how her intrusive memories of the rape were potentiated by early maladaptive schemas that developed in response to abusive and neglectful parenting. Within a broader narrative, three examples of IR are described which show how, as an emotion-focused intervention, this approach discloses deeper memories and emotional states that are distressing and traumatic and allows them to be transformed through a healing process that is organic and displays what Bohart and Tallman (2010) call "self-organizing wisdom."


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pdf.png Being Used as a Mouthpiece: Mutual Recognition during Parental Feedback - By Melissa Card  

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The experience of being a therapist can be both gratifying and frustrating at the same time. This article takes the form of a psychoanalytical formulation of the process of therapy and parental feedback sessions conducted with an adolescent diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. It also incorporates the therapist's experience of being in the room with both the patient and the patient's parents. Through exploring the concept of 'mutual recognition' and being present in the moment, it seems that therapeutic change is able to occur in both the patient and the family. Furthermore, this article explores the difficult process of negotiating feedback sessions with the patient's parents. The expression of the experiences of both the therapist and patient are brought to life by psychoanalytical theory and phenomenological experience. A phenomenological exploration of experiences allows for the transcendence of conventional investigative research settings as "interpretive phenomenological research cannot be separated from the textual practice of writing" (Fortune, 2009). This article could constitute a protocol as it captures unique data from a setting that is often not easily accessed, and provides data and insights from the perspective of the therapist, which are often not expressed.


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pdf.png The Phenomenon as Muse: On Being Open to “Friendly Invasion” - By Steen Halling  

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According to Greek Mythology, the Muses were the nine goddesses who inspired artists and writers. As qualitative researchers we are inspired, shaken, and moved by the phenomena that we study. They are our companions on our journeys of exploration, binding us to our research participants who contribute to our understanding in sharing their stories with us and revealing something of their lives. The Greeks knew that they did not have mastery of the Muses; similarly, the phenomena we study are not in our grasp. However, as children of this age, enchanted with technology and its promise of control, we are apt to delude ourselves into thinking that with sufficient effort mastery might be within our reach. In exploring this notion of the phenomenon as Muse, I turn to the accounts of researchers, both my own and those of colleagues. I aim to give words to the evolving and often difficult dialogue with our topics, that is present in a powerful and yet typically tacit way as we undertake our task. This dialogue touches us intimately as we reflect on the dimensions of human life that capture our attention and lead us to places that we could not have imagined. As this process unfolds, questions arise and remain. For example, we wonder what openness really means and what role methods play in our work. Thus, although we may think we are done with our Muse when our project is completed, much of the time she is not done with us.


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pdf.png The Intersection of Culture and Science in South African Traditional Medicine - By Jean-Francois Sobiecki  

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Traditional African medicine often carries with it a perception and stigma of being irrational and ungrounded in scientific method in academia. One reason for this common prejudicial view of traditional African medicine is the failure to effectively interpret African traditional medicine concepts, as these are often metaphorical descriptions of the biological and psychological effects of plants or combinations of them used in the traditional medicine preparations. When translated into other languages such as English, these metaphorical descriptions of medicinal plant use can seem to incorrectly reflect mysticism and/or superstition with no scientific basis. This difficulty in interpreting cultural descriptions of medical phenomena, together with the fact that there are hardly any academic papers engaging the science of South African traditional medicine in the biological sciences, is an indication of the disconnection between the humanities studies and the biomedical studies of South African traditional medicine. This paper investigates some popular examples of spiritual plant use in traditional South African medicine using phytopharmacological studies together with anthropological fieldwork methods, demonstrating the empirical basis for use of some plants in divination (by producing clarity of thought or dreams). The examples also reveal the phytochemical and biomedical foundations of the South Bantu speaking traditional healers' explanations of why and how various spiritually used plants have medicinal value. The challenge for scientists (such as botanists) is to effectively translate and interpret cultural and language based descriptions of spiritual medicinal plant use made by indigenous peoples while recognizing and discarding cultural prejudices that prevent a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of the science that intersects and forms the basis of many, though not all, cultural healing practices.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Graham du Plessis) - Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction  

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Eugen M. DeRobertis (2012). Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction. Charleston, South Carolina (SC): CreateSpace Publishing.
ISBN: 978-1478173557


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